Keep it Interesting, Keep it Fun

The day-to-day of novel writing involves lots of puzzling and problem solving. Ditching the plotted scenes I’d been writing solved one problem — they were boring and weighing down the manuscript — but it introduced a new problem: how to convey the things that actually “happen” in the story?

My solution, and it seems to be working so far, is to rewrite them as scenes in a screenplay. 

The narrator, in her present day, is a filmmaker. She is telling us a story about something that happened to her, so it reasons that she would use the storytelling tools with which she is most comfortable. It reasons that she might try to make art out of something that has been haunting her. 

What I love about these screenplay scenes is that I can let all the boring parts I didn’t like fall away, and I’m left with scenes that are interesting (to me, at least, which is all that matters at this point). The most meaningful bits of dialogue, the important gestures. The stage direction. My goal has been to capture the feeling that I get when watching Kogonada’s Columbus, and with these screenplay scenes, I feel like I’m getting closer to it. 

I know nothing about screenplay writing, so this is one big experiment. I’ve been reading screenplays to understand the technical aspect of it — The Talented Mr. Ripley, Before Sunrise, Carol. (I have been searching for the Columbus screenplay, with no luck yet.) 

This exploration of the unfamiliar is fun, which is, again, all that matters at this point in the making of the novel. Keep it interesting, keep it fun. Keep making art, keep watching and reading and engaging with art. Keep learning. Keep an open heart. 

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